NEDA's Santos completes BSP's 7-member Monetary Board

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 28 2010 01:29 AM | Updated as of Mar 30 2010 02:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang has named National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) acting Director General Augusto Santos as the government representative in the seven-man Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

President Arroyo appointed Santos as the Cabinet representative in the central bank’s policy-making body, replacing former Trade Secretary Peter Favila.

Favila, who used to be the Cabinet’s representative in the Monetary Board, was named private sector representative to the board, replacing Raul Boncan who recently retired and finished only two years of his six-year term ending in 2014.

Favila was appointed as private sector representative following a Cabinet revamp last March 9 wherein former Education Secretary Jesli Lapus was tapped to head the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) after the Supreme Court ruled that appointed officials seeking elective posts in the elections were deemed automatically resigned.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. administered the oath of office of Santos last Thursday in the presence of other Monetary Board members.

Aside from Tetangco and Favila, other members of the Monetary Board include former Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye, former Finance Secretary Juanita Amatong, former Trade Undersecretary Nelly Villafuerte, and former Development Bank of the Philippines chairman Alfredo Antonio.

The New Central Bank Act provides that one of the government sector members of the Monetary Board must be a member of the Cabinet designated by the President. It establishes certain qualifications for the board members and also prohibits members from holding certain positions with other governmental agencies and private institutions that may give rise to conflicts of interest.

With the exception of the members of the Cabinet, the Governor and the other members of the Monetary Board serve terms of six years and may only be removed for cause.

The BSP’s primary objective is to maintain price stability conducive to a balanced and sustainable economic growth. It also aims to promote and preserve monetary stability and the convertibility of the national currency.

The central bank provides policy directions in the areas of money
, banking and credit. It supervises operations of banks and exercises regulatory powers over non-bank financial institutions with quasi-banking functions.

Under the New Central Bank Act, the BSP performs liquidity management, currency issue, financial supervision, management of foreign currency reserves, and determines exchange rate policy.